The Ten Worst VNs of 2017
5) Four Horsemen (Nuclear Fishin’ Software)
Every now and then, I’ll talk about a visual novel that allows me to joke about me liking it despite my personal tastes. One of biggest detractors that I usually bring up that these games tend to subvert is something called ‘Teenage Bullshit’ or ‘High School Bullshit’: something along those lines. However, while we usually talk about and hold up the subversions of this trope, today I want to talk about a title that sticks to all of the Teenage Bullshit tropes to a ‘T’. How did it get to that point? Well, the game aspires to comment on the current situation in the West including immigration, economics, education, civil inequality; you get the picture. There’s just one problem with that, Skippy: it wants to comment on these things from a purely ideological point-of-view without perspective.
The four teenage leads of this game are presented as outcast both for being immigrants and for being different in more personal ways. Some are smarter, some are more brash and physically intimidating, one’s a burnout; the point is that these kids are right to feel the way they feel about society. This not only affects the direction of the story, but the weight of the choices you have deal with for the most part. Many of those choices look like this: arguably something a teenager would care a lot about. However, it’s also a choice that lacks perspective. It is sincere in its view that this is a pivotal moment for the girl making the choice, but ignorant of the reality that the choice in question most people buying the game (or reviewing it as the case may be) have had to make such a choice, made it and now look back at just how ridiculous it was.
Four Horseman has no perspective and because it doesn’t have any perspective, I cannot take only takes its characters as serious as I would any other idiot teenager. The boomerang effect of this is that the entire story becomes pretentious. More of the story is focused on them and their teenage bullshit, but its so pretentious that by the time we get to the politics, even if you agree with the positions the game takes; you’ll be rolling your eyes with how they present them. It’s just not worth as much thought as it think it is and, really, deserves to be left behind by titles that are far more insulting.